Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Israel Day 5: From the Garden Tomb to Bethlehem

Yesterday proved extremely tiring, but was so awesome! Today should be incredible as well!

-The Garden Tomb-
So peaceful. The Garden Tomb is such an amazing place to reflect and remember the ressurection of Jesus. Whether or not this is where it happened, the point is that Jesus is no longer dead. So awesome!

"The place of the skull"

Inside. The tomb is empty!

-Random Jerusalem-
We went to the upper room, King David's Tomb, and the Western Wall! So awesome!

-City of David-
This was not a part of our original tour, but it was such a blessing to be able to go! The City of David is everything within the old walls, and we got a chance to see the spring that would have been directly outside of those walls. The spring provided water for all of Jerusalem, and was well hidden from Israel's enemies. It had to be fetched using a series of tunnels, which we got to walk through!

Because Bethlehem is under Palastinian control, it is really an interesting experience. No Hebrew, sheckels not accepted, no Jews. Arabic, mostly Muslims, very dirty. That being said, all of the holy sites are well protected by Churches and wonderful staff. We saw two sites in Bethlehem: the sheperds field, and the Church of the Nativity. The shepards field has a beautiful church made by the same guy who did the church on Mt. Tabor, and the Church of All Nations. The Church of the Holy Nativity is an incredible site as well. The church is built in the shape of a cross, and the top of the cross features beautiful Greek Orthadox iconoclastic art work. After walking the length of the church, we decended a staircase into the cave: the birthplace of Christ. Unlike many other "traditional" sites we've seen, this is very likely the spot Jesus Christ actually was born.


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